Nine thoughts on nine teams: bloody, fiery and lifeless reactions

Nine thoughts on nine teams that saw quite a colourful week around the CFL.

B.C. Lions: The Leos ended the longest scheduled time between home games in franchise history (37 days) with a second straight win in Montreal. B.C.’s Loucheiz Purifoy has stepped in for the departed Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars) and played the tough strong-side linebacker spot at a high level in his first year up north. That signing has been vital for the Lions’ success on defence.


Edmonton Eskimos: The offensive line needs to play better in front of Mike Reilly. Edmonton’s big men allowed the 2015 Grey Cup MVP to take shot after hellacious shot – one left him with blood running down his face – with minimal resistance. And when some hits were laid that drew flags, defenders were not punished by the Eskimos’ lineman. That unit must improve for the offence to get rolling again.

Calgary Stampeders: You get the feeling Roy Finch could snap off a big return at any time. He’s electric with the football in his hands and the Oklahoma product has quickly become comfortable with the new dimensions on the Canadian field. That 4.40 40-yard speed is paying dividends for Calgary.


Saskatchewan Roughriders: Chris Jones’ defence has been devoid of game-changing plays on defence and that’s what’s become known as the hallmark of the defensive guru’s units. Saskatchewan did not record a sack against Calgary and they’ve got league lows in sacks (8) and turnovers forced (8). Those are categories which must see numbers rise quickly.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Remember when C.J. Roberts got burned by Edmonton’s Derel Walker for the game-winning touchdown in Week 4 and Bomber fans were writing him off in his first career CFL game? Well, the rookie has responded by improving quickly. He struck for his own big play last week, an interception touchdown on the first play from scrimmage against Hamilton.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats: The long lightning delay was not being used as an excuse by anyone associated with the Ticats. “We got our asses kicked,” says one team source. “Full credit to Winnipeg.” It seems like that was just one of those games you forgot about and move on if you’re Hamilton. Especially with Zach Collaros returning to game action on the horizon.

Toronto Argonauts: Quietly, the Argos are 4-2 with a game in hand on first-place Ottawa after suffering a rash of injuries, more than just Rick Ray. Receivers Tori Gurley, Kevin Elliott, Diontae Spencer, Phil Bates and defensive backs Jermaine Gabriel, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Josh Mitchell were all expected to be major contributors when training camp started. Not one of those athletes dressed when Toronto beat the Redblacks in Week 6.

Ottawa Redblacks: Watching and listening to Henry Burris tell his critics to “shove it” was highly entertaining. Media and fans want honesty from players and it seems more times than not that when we get it from athletes people are upset with them for speaking what’s actually on the mind. Hank: GIVE US MORE.

Montreal Alouettes: Boris Bede continues to struggle. He missed another makeable field goal (38 yards) and shanked a punt that led to three points for the opposition. Watch for Montreal to bring in a kicker that can rest Bede’s leg and give the second-year kicker a chance to get his mind right.


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